“Trust thyself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
This very good piece of advice comes from Emerson’s seminal essay “Self-Reliance,” something I recommend to every serious searcher for Truth and wisdom.
Many people think he’s saying “follow your heart,” and in a way, he is, but in a way, he also says listen to your brain. I’m paraphrasing, obviously!
He says listen to Eternal Law. Do what you think is Right, and he doesn’t mean “fun”.
Emerson points out that much of society is telling us to not trust ourselves. To listen to “authorities”. Well, if there’s anything my long life has taught me it’s that authorities have an agenda just like everyone else, so I might want to listen but keep a healthy dose of skepticism.
For example, for years when I was younger, I was basically a medical guinea pig with doctors trying “wonder cures” for what ailed me (endometriosis, a little understood disease, especially when I was younger). To this day I suffer from the effects of the things that were done to help me, many of which were later shelved for doing more harm than good. I was young. I “trusted” doctors (more or less). But now it’s less. I will take what they say under advisement, but I do a lot of my own research. It helps that I am a scholar and trained researcher with a science background, but Emerson would agree.
Do the work, do the thinking, decide for yourself on all matters. Don’t let government, religion or custom dictate what you believe.
It’s a lot harder than it looks!